It’s World Read Aloud Day! Yay! I celebrated by speaking with 60 lovely and well-behaved Kindergartners, reading Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Nap, making a horse collage, and seeing some fabulous student art. That’s my kind of party!
These two illustrations were made for my current work-in-progress. I don’t normally go super realistic, but after discussing the project with my agent, he thought the previous illustrations (unseen) were too stylized. Now we’ve heard from someone else that these may be too realistic, so I’m off to find a happy medium. Still, I kinda love them. Creating samples like these take a lot of work, so it can be frustrating not to use them, but every piece of art I make brings me closer to the characters. It’s all good.
Hi. I’ve been doing Skype Author visits for about a year now. But recently, I had some internet problems and I got freaked out that I would lose service in the middle of a Skype visit. So I had the idea to make a couple videos of what a Skype visit with me is like. That way, if I’m having technical issues, you can pull up these videos and it’s almost as good as having me there live.
This is Part 1, where I read my book, Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Be Noticed. When you are done, if you’d like to continue the Skyp-ish visit, please scroll down to Part 2: Collage Demonstration. If you’d like to book a free 30-minute Skype Author Visit with me, please go to my Contact Page and send me an email. Thanks! Enjoy!
Here’s the second part of my Skyp-ish Author Visit – the demo. If you want to work along with me, you’ll need: pencil, scissors, glue, black marker, large sheet of background paper, large sheet of black, small sheet of flesh tone paper, smaller piece of white, and I do some bamboo – so you’ll need some shade of green for leaves and some paper that looks bamboo-ish, or brown.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hanging with a lovely troop of Brownies. I was a Brownie. I wore the brown sash. I sold the cookies. The whole she-bang.
These lovely ladies had a ton of enthusiasm and we did something new: a ninja read-along. Enough of them had bought their own books, so when one asked if she could read along with me, I said, “Sure!”
After reading, I talked about the process of making the book – ever so briefly. Then we made our own collage ninja. I was particularly charmed by this Ninja Cat. I think there’s a book there!
BIG THANKS to the Brownies for having me in. I had a great time with you all!
I had a project going about an indoor cat who escapes outside and gets killed several times before learning the ways of the wild and making it back home. Even while making it, I wondered if it was marketable. After showing the project to an editor and getting some valid reasons why it would be a hard sell, my agent and I decided not to pursue this one. But I really enjoyed how the art was turning out. At least I get to show it off here.
For these illustrations, I painted separate watercolor pieces and scanned them into the computer. Then I put the compositions together collage-style. I wanted to work digital on this one so I could play with the opacity on the ghosts. I love the orange/turquoise color schemes in the night scenes.
In March, I signed up with Skype in the Classroom to do 30-minute Skype Author Visits. It’s a virtual world, people, and this is the way things are moving. Part of me loves this, because I really don’t like to travel very much. But there is something very nice about going into a school, meeting children and teachers, and working with the kids. Plus – when I go to a school they buy books and I get paid. That’s always nice. Skype visits are free. Well, as of right now they are free. If and when I ever become a big wig, I can charge. Mwah-ha-ha, money, money, money. But until that time, I’m fine with free.
Another bonus is that teachers send me these great shots of my big face on a giant screen looking silly, and shots of the fabulous collage creations the kids make after they speak with me (and sometimes before.) I love that!
After 46 visits in 3 months, I have learned a few things about doing Skype Visits. If you’re an author or illustrator or something who wants to know more about Skyping, check out my blog post.
Thanks for dropping in. Enjoy the site!
I love a nice, neat table set up with all the supplies needed to make art. Look how clean and orderly …. ahhhhh.
Then I love the beautiful chaos that is created when the children come and draw, cut, and glue – making a magnificent mess of the best kind. And art. They’re making art, too.
I just completed a lovely 2-day visit at the Louise Duffy School and had lots of fun working with the Kindergarteners and First Graders on Illustration and The Simples Love a Picnic on Day 1. Day 2 was all about Wink and ninjas with the Second Graders. We made Dreaming Ninja collages and the kids drew whatever dream their ninja was having. This artist ninja is just TOO CUTE!
I had a lovely author visit at East Haddam Elementary!
I did two large group presentations, made LOTS of collage ninjas, read Monkey Ono to the pre-schoolers and convinced them that I traveled to their school via the toilet. It was a wonderful day at a wonderful school and the students could not have been more charming, polite, and excited about my books or my visit. THANK YOU to Mrs. Phillips, the media specialist there, and the PTO for organizing and funding my trip!